Stress, anxiety, past trauma, depression… they have so many effects on everyday life. But there is hope. Finding help, and going to therapy can make you a better mom & a happier person!
“Don’t mind me, I have issues.”
That was a phrase I tossed around for years. It was a defense mechanism, a way of laughing off the anxiety, fear, and trauma that I carried with me every day of my life… for over a decade.
Long story short the year between my 18th and 19th birthday the world as I knew it crumbled. I went from a sense of security to feeling like everything I’d ever known was a lie.
I was a senior in high school, ready to take on the world, I had an amazing family, great friends, and my whole life spread out before me.
Then, I got pregnant, my Grandfather died, and my father admitted to being addicted to crack…
Everything fell apart… including me.
I carried all of the anger, the judgment, the insecurities, and the fear that went along with that time for years.
Until one day I realized how much it was affecting my whole life, and effecting my parenting, my husband my family, and my children.
I had a bit of a nervous breakdown, I turned into a sobbing crying mess and I didn’t know why. My husband even called in my mom for reinforcements.
I realize now that it was the weight I had been carrying, it had gotten too heavy. My ability to be resilient and happy despite the turmoil inside had run out. A decade of “having issues” had finally taken its toll
I needed real help. I needed to heal.
That day I realized that if I really wanted to be the mother, wife, friend, and person that I longed to be I needed to let go of the issues that I was dragging around, I needed to clean the lens that I was looking through and see life differently.
It changed everything.
As moms our role in our children’s lives is huge. We are impacting the next generation of this world. We are shaping them, and teaching them, and showing them how to cope with life. If we are struggling with that, if our coping mechanisms are lacking, if our anxiety is through the roof we are modeling that behavior for our kids.
I don’t know about you but my boys already have a lot of my bad habits. They are scatterbrained, they aren’t great at cleaning up after themselves (all things they get from me) But I don’t ever want to look at them and see that I’ve passed on the insecurity that I carried around for years.
So I want to tell you, my friend, if you are struggling with being the parent, spouse or person that you want to be, it is time to get the help you need
I know that idea of therapy is scary-
I put it off for years, I knew I needed help but I was afraid. I didn’t want to cry in front of some stranger, I didn’t want to dig up long-hidden emotions and spill them out. I was scared.
The first step can be the hardest part. But I want you to think about your best friend, your sister, or your child. If they were feeling the way you do would you call and make them an appointment and encourage them to go? Be that person for yourself. You are worth it, and therapists are there for what you need… and they always have big boxes of tissues.
You don’t have to have a big trauma to go to therapy-
A lot of people feel silly seeking a therapist when there isn’t anything really “wrong” with them, or they haven’t been through something terrible that they need to work out. It doesn’t matter what you have been through, what matters is if you have something that is affecting you every day and affecting how you relate to the world it is worth fixing. You may be struggling with perfection, anxiety, depression, or self-sabotage. You may be struggling with other peoples opinions or judgment…. the list goes on and on. As women, especially moms we carry the weight of the world and have plenty of reason to seek help.
Your issues are effecting your kids-
You might not see it, it might not be on the surface of your day to day life but what you are holding on to is going to affect your kids. If you are constantly anxious they are going to pick up on that and your fears are going to become their fears. When you are viewing life through a lens that is clouded that is going to affect how you parent. When I learned to let go of my fears and anger, and take responsibility for my life instead of blaming my past all the time I became a much more relaxed and present parent. My fear wanted me to control everything because if I was in control nothing bad was going to happen. It made me hold my kids back, micromanage them, not give them the freedom to make decisions because I was scared. Releasing all of that is hard, but it puts you in a place if parenting from your heart instead of your issues.
You need to break the patterns-
some of the issues you have maybe from your parents. Even if they were great parents maybe they demanded a lot from you or were super strict. Maybe they were absent or didn’t show affection. Likely they learned from their parents who learned from theirs… on and on back through your family tree. But ask yourself this. Do you want your children to struggle with the same insecurities that you do? Do you want them to navigate life with the anxiety that you carry? Is it time to let that go so that you can break the cycle and raise them differently? The same is true for things like addiction and abuse, the cycle can only stop when someone chooses to.
Therapy is the ultimate self-care-
you hear it a lot. If you’ve hung out with me for awhile you know I believe with my whole heart that as moms we need to take care of ourselves. The best way that you can is to take care of your mental state because the rest flows from there. If you heal your mind, let go of your past, learn to love yourself everything else is easier. It is easier to be healthy if you feel mentally whole, it is easier to be calm if you are not carrying around massive amounts of stress, it is easier to love fully if you love yourself.
You’ll be happier-
If you ask almost any mom they want their children to be happy. The best way for them to learn to be happy well-adjusted results is to see that coming from us. There is no need to suffer, to try to manage it on your own, to shove your emotions down and ignore them. Help is available, and unburdening yourself of anything you’ve been carrying is so freeing and can make you feel happier. As you learn to cope with anxiety, fear or depression it makes room for joy and love. Less stress and more love, it is the perfect combination.
So, my dear friend. I encourage you, find a therapist. Ask a friend that you know sees one, do a quick Google search, ask your Dr. for a recommendation, you can even use an app!
Whatever you decide find the help you need, find your happiness and peace, and embrace your life.